HOUSTON (FOX 26) — The Independent Police Oversight Board is made up of 29 members of the community appointed by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to help review cases like the deadly narcotics raid on Harding Street in January.
Marvin Hamilton has served as chair of the commission for the last two years. He said the board has not yet received the case on Harding Street to review, but once they do, they will have two weeks to go through all of the records and data, and report their findings to the police.
"Any case you see, if it’s egregious, you just remember a little bit about it," said Hamilton. "You may not remember the details. But if his name is Sam Brown, okay, I remember Sam Brown."
Having served as a member of the Independent Police Oversight Board for years, Hamilton has helped review hundreds, even thousands of investigations involving allegations of excessive force and police shootings. In fact, Hamilton said he’s previously reviewed multiple cases involving Officer Gerald Goines, who is at the center of the Harding Street raid investigation.
The Third Ward resident and military veteran is dedicated to preserving the integrity of his position and would not go into details about any specifics of Goines' past cases.
"I don’t want to harp on that guy 'cause I don’t know what he’s guilty of and it’ll all come out," said Hamilton.
Like the other 28 people on the board, Hamilton is just an ordinary citizen who has sworn to remain impartial when handed cases like the deadly narcotics raid on Harding Street.
"That’s what tips the scale just a little bit because if you have other police officers doing it, they may be a little reluctant to say, 'Yeah, this guy did that,'" said Hamilton. "I don’t have that reluctance."
The majority of the board members stem from varying academic or legal backgrounds. Their expertise in those arenas will also help when recommending disciplinary action to the police chief after reviewing a case.
Hamilton also clarified that although the board has unfettered access to all records and data of a case in review, the board does not have any subpoena powers.